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Sharepro accused of cheating two more cos

Sharepro Services India Pvt Ltd, the share transfer agency accused of pocketing dividends of several Asian Paints shareholders, is also accused of cheating two other companies in a similar manner, Economic Offences Wing (EOW) officials said on Thursday.

On Monday, the EOW had arrested GR Rao and Indira Karkera, managing director and operations head at Sharepro respectively, for allegedly pocketing close to Rs 18 crore that was to be paid to investors of Asian Paints as dividends on their shares. Sharepro was entrusted with handling the share transfer and related processes for Asian Paints from 2003 to 2017, and the scam came to light after several shareholders complained to Asian Paints of not getting their dividends.

EOW officials said that they have received applications from two other companies, one in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector and the other in the Information Technology sector, seeking to make criminal complaints against Sharepro. “The collective amount of money pocketed by Sharepro, as per the allegations by these two corporates, comes up to Rs 19 lakh. We are conducting further inquiries on their complaints,” an EOW officer said.

Investigations conducted into the complaint registered by Asian Paints have revealed that the accused used a two-pronged modus operandi to pocket the money that was meant for shareholders. Firstly, officials said, the accused identified shareholders with dormant accounts, including people who had not checked the status of their demat accounts for a long time or those who were deceased. These shares were then sold off to third parties through fraudulent means, after which the dividends on the shares were withdrawn in cash by numerous accomplices and handed over to the accused.

The second method was to divert dividends that were to be transferred to the accounts of shareholders to accounts belonging to their accomplices without the knowledge of either the shareholders or Asian Paints.

“Being the share transfer agency contracted by the company, the arrested accused were in a perfect position to know the status of dormant accounts and manipulate the transactions. We are still investigating some of the finer aspects of the modus operandi employed by the accused, including the period of time over which the scam was executed and the number and identities of the accomplices involved,” said another officer.

Both the arrested accused have been remanded in the EOW’s custody till April 5.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 11:26:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/sharepro-accused-of-cheating-two-more-cos/article8420980.ece

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